Is this the year Black Friday officially becomes a thing of the past?

Black Friday has already been on the ropes for years, as brick-and-mortar stores scrambled to lure in customers that are becoming less and less interested in losing sleep to take advantage of late-night (or early-morning) sales. Last year, actual store visits for Black Friday fell more than four percent again, according to Fortune, while online sales soared.

Here in Massachusetts, stores are not allowed to open on Thanksgiving, of course, so there's no need to rush to clean up the gravy stains on the tablecloth before heading out to the chaos on the actual holiday. However, choosing to shop on Thanksgiving (nationwide) is becoming a more popular activity, up more than two percent last year.

No surprise that the big growth is coming from online sales. Fewer and fewer people can be bothered to do what it takes in order to get an in-person great deal at an actual store. I can tell you I am part of that camp. I used to cover Black Friday for Fun 107 years ago. It is not something that I miss.

If I'm going to do Christmas shopping in person this weekend, it will be for Small Business Saturday. To me, this is a much more meaningful way to support the SouthCoast community, especially this year.

According to Fundera, there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, making up more than 99 percent of American businesses. Small businesses were responsible for more than 65 percent of the new jobs created in 2016, and one out of five are family-owned. Small business is absolutely critical to the local, state and federal economy.

Think carefully about where you spend your money this holiday season. The next few months are going to be "make it or break it" for far too many SouthCoast business owners. If you are a fan of any local businesses, go out of your way to support them with the extra things you buy your friends and family over the next few weeks.

KEEP READING: These Major Retailers Will Be Closed on Thanksgiving 2020

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